The idea of investing with a social purpose is gaining ground. The broad category of sustainable and responsible investing grew 38 percent in the United States from 2016 to the start of 2018, to $12 trillion in assets under management, according to the US SIF Foundation. That represented one out of every four dollars of the $46.6 trillion under management, the group noted. A wide range of investments were held, including mutual funds, annuities, E.T.F.s and closed-end funds. Morningstar reported that 2018 marked the third consecutive year of record flows into sustainable funds; the number of sustainable funds also jumped nearly 50 percent. So far, most sustainable investments are held by institutional and high-net-worth investors. Negligible amounts are held in workplace retirement plans.
Virginia Community Capital will host the 2019 Learning Exchange at the Science Museum of Virginia on December 11. This year's Learning Exchange, themed "What's Next", will feature five different speakers delivering a TED-style talk lasting no more than 12 minutes each on trends impacting our communities such as housing, impact investing, technology, and clean energy. The Learning Exchange's main goal is to provide frameworks/ideas the statewide audience can easily digest and apply to their unique communities. These ideas tend to challenge conventional thinking, offer tools and resources, and bring innovative perspectives to Virginia's communities.
BankPlus and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas presented a check for $8,000 to Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity to create a marketing plan and website. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides housing for low-income working families. The agency has put 78 families in homes over the last 30 years in Lauderdale County. The organization does not have a website, but uses Facebook and Instagram to connect with the community. The website will be used to promote the organization, to collect donations and as a place for volunteers to sign up.
AB 857, which creates a legal pathway in California for public banks owned by city and county governments where cities and counties would deposit public dollars, was recently passed by the California Assembly. The governor has until October 13 to sign it into law. Progress on public banks in California will be closely watched in other states and cities where organizers and public officials have been pushing for public banks — including Washington State, New Mexico, Michigan, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, the Twin Cities, Portland, Seattle, and elsewhere. Inspired by the state-owned Bank of North Dakota (until recently the only public bank operating in the U.S.), proponents of AB 857 envision a statewide network of public banks that would leverage local public deposits in support of public policy priorities like affordable housing and homeownership, clean energy and climate adaptation, small business lending, alternatives to payday loans, and other priorities that public banking advocates feel are too important to leave entirely up to privately owned banks.
The New York Fed unveiled a new tool—the Credit Insecurity Index—to provide policymakers and the broader public with a more comprehensive measure of credit access and community credit health. Unlike other metrics that focus on residents without a credit file or score, the Credit Insecurity Index also includes individuals who may have credit files but are limited in their ability to borrow at affordable terms due to blemishes on their records. A new series of reports—Unequal Access to Credit: The Hidden Impact of Credit Constraints—offers in-depth analysis using the new index, including potential policy applications.
JPMorgan Chase announced Tuesday a $25 million commitment to the Financial Health Network's Financial Solutions Lab, a program meant to focus on the creation of fintech tools to help consumers better manage their finances.The Financial Health Network (formerly the Center for Financial Services Innovation) previously received a $30 million philanthropic donation from the bank that spanned the last five years. JPMorgan also unveiled a new branch in the Harlem section of New York City that will feature a digital innovation lab. It will test new ways to use digital channels to rapidly assist customers with their needs.
On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department announced $25.2 million in Bank Enterprise Awards (BEA) by the US Treasury Department's Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. 38 banks certified as CDFIs received awards for their efforts to channel $19.4 million of deposits into 18 CDFI credit unions to support their lending in distressed communities. In 2016, the Community Development Bankers Association and Inclusiv began working together to play matchmaker between CDFI banks participating in the BEA Program and CDFI credit unions. While traditional banks and credit unions wage fierce battles over market share, tax status, and a host of regulatory issues, CDFI banks and CDFI credit unions work together to combat poverty.
Every year, B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses. Honorees are recognized for having the highest environmental, community, customer, worker and overall impact by earning a score in the top 10% on the B Impact Assessment, as well as a list recognising B Corps with the greatest impact improvement (the changemakers). These businesses are proving that competing not only to be best in the world but best for the world is a winning strategy, and they can lead the way as mainstream businesses join our movement. This year, 4 CDBA members were named Best for the World: Beneficial State Bank, Spring Bank, Sunrise Banks, and Virginia Community Capital.
City First Bank of DC has released their 2018 impact report in addition to an anthology highlighting their 25th anniversary. The anthology tells the historic and vibrant stories of social impact that have been critical to City First's community economic development over the past twenty-five years. City First was chartered with a mission of investing intentionally in low wealth neighborhoods to revitalize historic corridors like U Street and H Street. City First is committed to nonprofits, entrepreneurs, and families. In this anthoogy, you will meet the social entrepreneurs that dared to rebuild our urban landscape.
Planters Bank announces that Alan Hargett is assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 2019. Hargett, a native of Ruleville, began his banking career with Planters as a management trainee in the Planters Indianola office in 1989 the same year he earned his Bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University. He currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of Planters Bank. Hargett is a member of the Planters Board of Directors and serves on the board and executive committee of the Mississippi Bankers Association.